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Passing away of gentle lady

Apr 1 (CT) “Many a surviving spouse has erected many a statue in memory of her husband, in bronze, cement or steel. Srima Dissanayake erected a monument that no other spouse could dream of; she erected the Gamini Dissanayake Foundation in memory of her slain husband. That monument is not a mere statue where people come and pay their respects; what she built was one where young men and women, our successive generations learn the skills for the uplift of their lives, more..

In search of few good men

Apr 1 (CT) Time has come to look for few good men devoid of venal and vile traits to lead us and free us from the clutches of oligarchs leading crony capitalism and crony socialism in our country. Contrary to the popular reports in the public domain every politician in the parliament of Sri Lanka is vile and venal. There may be a few MPs without venal traits, yet they have compromised the national interests and sullied the principles of democracy on many occasions in order to protect more..

Navy Abduction case nearing completion: Victims’ families clamour for answers

Apr 1 (SO) On Thursday when the magisterial inquiry into the abduction of eleven youth by a Navy abduction gang for ransom concluded for the day, parents of the missing boys waited near courts hoping to attract the attention of investigators led by OIC of the Gang Robberies Unit of the CID, IP Nishantha Silva. A decade after their children disappeared, and in spite of mounting evidence that they were murdered, this small group of more..

The people’s bafflement: How do you solve a problem like Sirisena?

Apr 1 (ST) If there is one tragic flaw in Maithripala Sirisena’s get up, it is his habitual tendency to absolve himself of all knowledge and thus responsibility to the nation when the first whiff of trouble blows in the air or the first whistle of controversy is blown at dusk to alert opposition hounds to bear their fangs and go for the kill when they smell Sirisena blood in the offing. His escape route, his favoured ruse: Constant reference to his ignorance as an all-redeeming, face-saving, more..

Colombata kiri, apita kekiri

Apr 1 (ST) As Sri Lanka suffers from extraordinary heat, the Govt’s decision to impose nation-wide power cuts excepting Colombo city and other privileged locations where MPs reside, speaks not only to its witless actions in respect of a major crisis but also imputes a selectiveness that has deadly import in an election year. Tellingly, a disgruntled householder in Chilaw exclaimed this week when asked for her reactions by a television, ‘power and water are two basic things that more..

'Our struggle is to make the people win'

Apr 1 (CT) JVP Politburo Member K.D. Lalkantha says they are working towards getting the 20th Amendment, passed. Q: There is a clear difference in the behaviour of the JVP, as seen prior to 8 Jan 2015, and during the 52 days from 26 Oct, and today. Why are you silent now? A: The people do not ask us why we are silent; it is because we are working based on getting the 20th Amendment, passed. more..

A model for project financing

Apr 1 (Island) As a preface to this short piece, please note that I do not comment on the cost of the project because I have to work further to find out comparative figures for that price. I have not worked on a project in light rail transit systems either in the literature or on the ground and have no feel for the numbers. These few sentences became necessary because this (28th Mar) morning, a senior academic at a Seminar gave the price of the project as $2 billion equal to Slr. 340 billion. more..

Edtorial: Gamperaliya and Karuwala Gedera

Apr 1 (Island) UNF govt has awakened to the adverse political fallout of the ongoing power cuts. It says that the problem will be sorted out within ten days. Whether it is equal to the task of making good on that promise may be in doubt, but it is sure to make a serious effort to do so. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is drawing near and the yahapalana grandees are aware that whatever remains of their popularity will plummet further if power cuts are imposed during the festive season. more..


Grade Five Scholarship: A level playing field for every child

Apr 1 (SO) There has been no official announcement yet, but it appears as though moves are under way by the Govt to scrap the Grade Five Scholarship Examination. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam is on record saying the Examination would be made optional and no less a person than President Maithripala Sirisena has said this is being done following a proposal made by him. The basis for the decision has not been formally unveiled though Minister Kariyawasam more..

Budget deficit-unscientific solutions

Apr 1 (Island) The budget 2019 reports a massive 2000-billion-rupee deficit. This is going to affect the man on the street via taxes, both direct and indirect and cause severe economic hardships to ordinary people. Combined with the depreciation of the rupee, prices of all consumer items will increase. This budget is full of rhetoric but no substance. Massive handouts in the form of building toilets, houses and other welfare programmes will certainly add to inflation. more..

NOC’s gratuitous struggle for independence

Apr 1 (ST) In an unprecedented move, the National Olympic Committee of SL (NOCSL) which is recognised under the Sports Law has sought complete independence and autonomy claiming non-Govt organisation (NGO) status with no links whatsoever with the Govt. Writing directly to the Attorney General, despite not having a mandate to do so, the local body has demanded exemption from audit by Govt auditors, causing more..

To defend Democracy, a broad conversation among all Democrats needed

Apr 1 (SO) In democracies, elections usually are significant political turning points. In democratic theory, an election marks two key opportunities to the people as well as the rulers. For the people, it marks the periodic occasion to elect their rulers and grant them authority to rule over them for a specific period of time, usually, five years. For the rulers, incumbent or aspiring, an election provides legitimacy to rule. Legitimacy entails both legality and popular support. more..

Hemas upbeat on pharma and logistics with new plants

Apr 1 (ST) Hemas Holdings (Hemas) is bullish on two new plants – a pharmaceutical manufacturing and warehousing factories – to enhance the bottom-line in the years to come. Hemas’ pharmaceutical plant at Homagama with an EU and GMP compliant manufacturing facility will be commissioned early next year. Logistics park at Muthurajawela is already commissioned. Steven Enderby, CEO Hemas, noted that Rs.2.8 b manufacturing facility at Homagama can deliver 3 billion tablets per annum. more..

Cabinet nod for Trade Assistance Program

Apr 1 (FT) The Trade Assistance Program (TAP), which was formulated by the Govt to offset adverse impact to companies and workers from tariff and para-tariff removals, as well as increased competition from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), received Cabinet approval last week. The Cabinet paper was jointly presented by Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, and Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Dharmasoka rout Sri Devananda by 240 runs

Apr 1 (CT) Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda beat Sri Devananda College Ambalangoda by 240 runs in the 52nd annual Battle of the Blues-Ambalangoda played at the De Soysa Stadium Moratuwa, yesterday. Sri Devananda won the toss and elected to field. Dharmasoka were bowled out for 201 runs in 52.3 overs. Opener Shanula Shamin scored 75 runs in 75 balls, putting on 82 runs for the first wicket with Shena Deshai. Sasindu Malshan (31 n.o.), Shena Deshai (24), Dinuka Dilshan (18), more..

Perseverance, SL’s strategic location bring biggest FDI project to fruition

Apr 1 (FT) Perseverance by promoters and Sri Lanka’s enviable strategic location were key factors for the realisation of the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth $ 3.9 billion exports-oriented oil refinery in Hambantota, THE work on which kicked off recently. The professional stock broker and investment advisor who promoted the idea first to India’s $ 7 billion assets-rich conglomerate Accord Group way back in October 2015 when its Chairman Dr. S. Jagatrakshakan made a visit to SL, more..

SEC files action against Dr. Sena Yaddehige for insider dealing

Apr 1 (FT) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed action before the Fort Magistrate’s Court against Dr. Sena Yaddehige, for dealing in the shares of Kegalle Plantations PLC (KGAL) listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. Being the Chairman of the company, his transactions were just before a Rs. 45 dividend was declared by KGAL on 10 July 2015, which is in breach of Section 32 of the SEC Act No. 36 of 1987 (as amended). more..

More countries opting for Artificial Intelligence to prevent crime

Apr 1 (FT) The number of countries using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prevent crime is on the rise given the technology’s superiority. Already police departments in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many other countries are using facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, surveillance systems, biometrics, and behavioural software monitoring to prevent crime before it occurs. Experts said criminals cannot evade the system and will be constantly monitored, ensuring greater safety more..

SLC richer by US$ 19 million after India agrees tour

Apr 1 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket is set to get richer by US$ 19 million after India agreed to tour the island later this year. The Indian cricket team will be here in August after the World Cup and will play three Test matches and a tri-nation series also involving Australia. The tour was not part of the Future Tour programme and was arranged on the sidelines of recent ICC meetings. SLC sources said that the board is set to sign up a deal worth US$ 19 million with Star Sports. more..

Hoteliers see dollars, DMCs cash on rupees

Apr 1 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tour operators have been hit by the new budget proposal mooted by hoteliers to carry out transactions in US dollars causing dissent among the Destination Management Companies (DMCs). In protest the SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) had written to the Finance Minister against the budget proposal and has already had a discussion with an advisor to the Finance Ministry in this regard. more..

Dimuth to face separate SLC inquiry

Apr 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket will conduct their own inquiry into an incident involving the arrest, and subsequent release on bail of SL Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne on charges of drunk driving and causing an accident at Kynsey Road yesterday. Beyond the immediate consequences of the accident, particularly with regard to the condition of the injured driver of the other vehicle, the episode may also have far-reaching professional ramifications for Karunaratne. more..

25% increase in career diplomats heading Sri Lankan missions

Apr 1 (FT) Committee on High Posts of the Parliament to examine the suitability of persons nominated/appointed to the State services and the State corporations (High Posts Committee) last week approved the appointments of 14 career diplomats nominated by Prez Sirisena as Heads of SL Missions overseas. With these appointments, percentage of career diplomats heading SL Missions overseas increased from 36.57% to 46%. SL maintains 52 Embassies/HCs overseas. more..

ETIF deal concludes: Depositors left in the lurch

Apr 1 (CT) The controversial Edirisinghe Trust Investments Finance Ltd (ETIF) transaction will drawn to a close as the remaining payment of USD 16 million has already been deposited by the controversial investor company, named Pettigo, in a private local bank in Sri Lanka. Although the deal was initially agreed at the price of USD 75 million with the inclusion of Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC (SFSP), more..

PUCSL to introduce Standards for Construction

Apr 1 (DN) Major stakeholders agreed to the proposed regulation and standards introduced for water fittings at a public consultation held at the BMICH recently organized by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). Representatives from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board stressed the importance of reducing leakage and manufacturers who were present agreed with the need for regulation. H M I P Kulasekara, Assistant Director Construction Development Authority more..

Dhaka Stock Exchange, CSE accelerate collaborative efforts

Apr 1 (DN) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) jointly announce the signing of a MoU to formalize collaborative efforts directed at mutual development. The MoU will pave the way for a greater level of information exchange between the two stock exchanges and will focus on product development, capacity building and the joint promotion of capital raising efforts both in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. MoU is also set to contribute towards more..

Fraudsters and corrupted will be punished under my term: Mahinda

Apr 1 (AD) People who commit fraud and take commissions will be punished severely during his administration, says Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. He pointed out that the incumbent govt is responsible for the prevailing crisis in the country. He mentioned this following an event held in Welimada. Meanwhile, addressing a function held at Balangoda earlier, he said that the public has been oppressed due to more..

Australia a friend indeed, says wartime Navy Commander

Apr 1 (Island) Wartime Navy Chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said that SL had received Australian recognition as an important security partner. The recently concluded Australia-SL military exercise underscored the pivotal importance of such relationships. Karannagoda said that the Navy could be proud of the role it played in eradicating the LTTE threat on international shipping lines. Karannagoda said that SL also fully cooperated with Australian efforts to thwart human smuggling. more..

ComBank named Best Internet Bank & Best Green Bank by two UK magazines

Apr 1 (AD) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won two more international awards – Best Internet Bank – SL and Best Green Bank – SL, continuing a winning streak that has taken its tally of international awards in the first quarter of 2019 alone, to five. While Global Banking and Finance Review Magazine of the UK adjudged Commercial Bank the Best Internet Bank in Sri Lanka for the fourth successive year, Capital Finance International Magazine, also of the UK, more..

Enterprise Sri Lanka scheme: Rs.79 billion loans for 46,673 recients

Apr 1 (DN) Under the Enterprise Sri Lanka subsidized loan scheme designed to create entrepreneurs and boost domestic private investment, the Govt has so far disbursed loans worth Rs.79 billion among 46,673 recipients. The Enterprise Sri Lanka, a concept of Minister Mangala Samaraweera was initiated on June 21, 2018. The programme expects to create 100,000 new entrepreneurs by the year 2020. more..

PUCSL okays emergency power purchase by CEB

Apr 1 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved the Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) proposal to purchase 100 megawatts of emergency power, Jayanat Herat, Director- Corporate Communications of the PUCSL told The Island. "We approved this given the inconveniences faced by the public. We also instructed the CEB to send us the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) after it is signed. We will evaluate and approve whether the unit price is fair," he said. more..

No plan for permanent base here: US Embassy

Apr 1 (DM) The US does a lot more to increase mil- to- mil (military to military) cooperation with Sri Lanka, but there are no plans to establish a permanent base here, an embassy spokesman said. Commenting on reports that the US is planning to set up a permanent military facility in Sri Lanka, the spokesman said there was no such plan. “It is safe to say that there is a no plan to establish a US military base in Sri Lanka. That has never been part of our cooperation here. more..

NCE expresses grave concern over current power crisis

Apr 1 (FT) National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) which is the only private sector chamber that exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters, has expressed grave concern regarding the adverse effects on the exports sector, of the current power crisis. Chamber particularly notes with dismay the unscheduled power cuts effected hitherto without warning which has resulted in the disruption of vital production activities of especially more..

Wiggy now demands fresh probe into Mannar mass grave

Apr 1 (Island) Former NP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has called for fresh examination of skeletal remains found at the Mannar mass grave sites. He said that the outcome of a fresh examination would be entirely different from the one received from the Beta Analytic Institute of Florida, USA. The US facility determined that the samples of skeletal remains received from the Mannar mass grave site for carbon dating, went back to a period between 1499 and 1719 AD. more..

Srima Dissanayake’s funeral today

Apr 1 (DN) The final rites of Srima Dissanayake, wife of the late Minister Gamini Dissanayake, will take place today at 3 p.m. at the Borella General Cemetery. Srima Dissanayake passed away at a private hospital in Colombo on Friday at the age of 77. Mrs. Dissanayake, a lawyer by profession became the UNP candidate at the 1994 Presidential Election, subsequent to the assassination of her husband Gamini Dissanayake, who was the Presidential Candidate. more..

Date set to implement death penalty: Prez

Apr 1 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the date to implement the Capital Punishment for the drug offenders has already been decided by him. He was speaking at a programme held to oppose the use of drugs and alcohol, which was organised by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith with the participation of religious leaders in Mutwal yesterday (31). Prez added that he is assiduous in successfully concluding the campaign to eliminate drugs more..

Inequality and its Persistence in Jaffna

Apr 1 (DM) Inequality is now one of the most internationally researched and debated social issues. Rising income inequalities between and within countries after the neo-liberal turn of the 1970s gained further attention with the global economic crisis of 2008. As inequality became a central concern of studies on development and social change, contemporary free market capitalism has come under increasing scrutiny with debates focusing on the obscene concentration of more..

Sinhala-Tamil New Year, Earth Day and the Environment

Apr 1 (DM) As the month of April dawns this morning, many of us will be pranking our friends, relations and fellow citizens with April fool jokes. Yet, in the month of April we celebrate many more serious events. For us Sri Lankans, April marks the dawning of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, and as importantly, on April 22, people the world over will commemorate Earth Day. Today Earth Day has become one of the most widely celebrated of environmental events across the globe. more..

Golden age of drug busts!

Apr 1 (ST) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) confirms that SL is the hub for cocaine in South Asian region. Most alarming is that cocaine that comes to SL is used by the natives and only 1% is caught in transit. During the 30 years of war, there was less room for drug trafficking in the country because the country was on high alert at sea, on land and in the air. But with the wake of peace in 2009, there began a gradual presence of drugs. more..

Sri Lanka prisons over-crowded hell-holes

Apr 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's prison system is holding 22,000 inmates though the system is designed to have only 8,000 persons making them overcrowded hell holes, and cases over petty crimes are dragged on for years, legislators said. "In our area, the main plea of suspects is not to remand them at the Wariyapola prison," opposition legislator Anura Yapa, a lawyer and former minsiter told parliament. more..